Series: Reign of the Fallen #1
Published by Razorbill on January 23, 2018
Odessa is one of Karthia's master necromancers, catering to the kingdom's ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it's Odessa's job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised--the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.
A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa's necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead--and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer's magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?
I’ve been in and out of a reading slump for nearly two years, so the list of books I’ve loved beyond words (within the time frame of said reading slump) is super small. Reign of the Fallen has made that list. Everything about this book was perfection. The characters were amazing. The plot was amazing. The world was amazing. The writing was amazing.
Basically, everything was amazing.
I’ll start with the world, which was well-developed, lush and intriguing, especially the Deadlands. It gave me major Xena vibes, which probably only makes sense to those who know a lot about Xena and how the Gods and the Underworld are portrayed. It also, (more) obviously, gave me major Greek mythology vibes, which you guys know I LOVE.
I also loved the setting, Karthia. I know it’s weird to like a place in the same way as you would a character, but it’s like Hogwarts or Narnia – it has a personality of its own, with its own rules and quirks. The whole idea that change is forbidden in Karthia was beyond intriguing, and made for some interesting side plots.
I really liked Odessa (Sparrow). She was a strong character who went through a lot of emotional turmoil. I liked the way we saw the stages of her grief. It felt realistic and relatable. She definitely ranks up there as one of my favorite heroines, along with Feyre, Alina, Celaena, Inej and Audrey Rose.
I LOVED Meredy so much. She reminded me of Jules from Three Dark Crowns, especially since she had Lysander, who reminded me of Cam. She was strong and fierce, like Sparrow, but more so. She was a fighter who refused to back down, and she was loyal to those she loved. She and Sparrow had major “hate to love” trope vibes and I was ALL FOR IT.
Another character I really liked was Valoria. I like that she’s a princess but also an inventor, going against the king by trying to bring about change – something that’s forbidden. She’s smart and independent, and stands up for her beliefs. I LOVE that she wears glasses. That’s not something you often see in fantasy books, and certainly not on a young princess – glasses are usually for old men and such. So, as someone who wears glasses (and has for MANY years), I found this very refreshing.
All the shippy feels to Simeon and Danial! I loved these two as the epic individual characters they were, but I also loved their relationship beyond words. Whereas Sparrow and Meredy were “love to hate” shippy goodness, Simeon and Danial were just FEELS FEELS FEELS.
Finally, I never liked or trusted a certain prince. That’s all I’ll say on that.
Overall, if you couldn’t tell (I mean… did you READ my review…?), I LOVED THIS BOOK BEYOND WORDS. I’m pretty sure my review was nothing but ramble, but there’s no way I can truly put my love for this book into actual words that people can comprehend – and trust me, I tried; I’ve been working on this review for FOUR DAYS and I STILL don’t think it’s good enough…
Anyway, back to the review!!
This book had an incredible world, incredible characters with lots of shippy feels, necromancers, rogue necromancers, and an Underworld reminiscent of Xena. If that’s not enough to get you to read, I don’t know what else to say.
Needless to say, I’m already counting down the days to the release of book two, and anything else Sarah Glenn Marsh ever writes. Ever. Period. Auto-Buy List forever.